Warning: There may be Dragon Age Origins spoilers ahead.
I’ve been playing through a lot of RPGs lately. I’ve been taking advantage of the break between semesters, the amazing Steam sales lately and the fact that this is the first generation that I have a computer capable of running recent games. The latest RPG on my list is Dragon Age Origins. I picked up a quest to remove some Mercenaries from a brothel. It sounded fun. I went over to the brothel to get rid of them. While I was there I decided to see what the brothel had to offer. The Madame gave me the option of males, females, both or surprise me. I asked to see both and she brought out a handful of the brothel’s available companions. I made my choice and was about to click on her but then I noticed something. Above her head read “Female” Companion. “Female”?
I didn’t like it. Quotation marks are what people use to tell me that I am not nor will I ever be a real woman. Quotation marks are mean.
I looked it up, two common reactions I saw from other gamers on this issue was that the brothel girls were not trans women but intersex OR that it wasn’t a big deal because they were not real women. I will address both positions briefly. Firstly, it doesn’t matter if a person is intersex they are still allowed to identify as woman, man, bi-gender, third gender, no gender, etc. It is no more OK to quotation an intersex person as it is to quotation a trans person.
The second point saddens me. The logic that trans women are not real women is the same reason why quotation marks are so offensive. That people are posting this point of view on sites intended for a gay audience is depressing. I think this just goes to show that trans people and trans issues are not respected by too large a number of people in the LGBT community.
I am female. No quotation marks.